Story Pirates Sail into Briarcliff Manor

Aly Tully’s kindergarten class poses with the Story Pirates after a performance at Todd Elementary in December.

To the delight of Briarcliff Manor Todd Elementary School’s staff and kindergarten through second graders, a group of stories created by the children have been brought to life.  

Story Pirates, an arts education organization based in NYC and LA that adapts young people’s writing for the stage, visited Todd on December 4 to act out four original stories written by the school’s second graders. 

“The performance was the perfect complement to support our new writing program, and a valuable way of helping students brainstorm ideas and spark their imaginations,” Todd Principal Colleen O’Neill-Mangan explained. 

The experience began when second graders were assigned to write a story of any length on any topic. Four stories – three by a single author and one created in collaboration – were sent to the Story Pirates. It all culminated in four original Story Pirates performances in Todd’s multipurpose room. 

O’Neill-Mangan and kindergarten teacher Aly Tully had worked with the Story Pirates at other schools in previous positions and knew firsthand the value of providing an authentic audience. 

“…Students were able to actually see the elements of their stories come together right in front of their eyes,” said Tully. 

The assembly ended with an improv sketch with students shouting ideas from the audience and thrilling in the results. The program was funded by the Todd PTA.

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About the Author: Evelyn Mertens